Love, Ruby Lavender - Deborah Wiles

Dear Miss Eula, Mama says I am going to use up a tree writing to you if I keep this up. If you come home now, it will save a tree.

Ruby Lavender lives in the tiny town of Halleluia, Mississippi (population: 400 good friendly folks and a few old soreheads) and loves her grandma, Miss Eula. Then Ruby's aunt and uncle in Hawaii have a new baby. Miss Eula decides it's time to go for a visit, leaving Ruby to deal with their three "liberated" chickens (and some eggs) and Melba Jane, Ruby's nemesis.

It's a wonderful picture of a small town in the South, and Ruby is quite a character. She and Miss Eula keep up a lively correspondence ("free advice: Always jiggle babies after they eat") which is included between chapters. There's also something of a mystery for the reader: the reason Melba Jane and Ruby hate each other so much has something to do with last summer and the death of Ruby's grandfather.

I heard about the book at our local talent show when a girl did some readings of some of the letters. Since we'd been to Hawaii recently, I thought Ridley would enjoy a story about somebody's grandmother going to Hawaii. But I think it was a bit long (with no pictures except for a map at the front) and she lost interest about halfway through. For slightly older readers, though, it's a cute book with humor and some real tenderness.

Fed to jonathan's brain | April 08, 2008 | Comments (0)


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